Some patients feel anxious when visiting a medical center. To help calm you, we’ve created a checklist that can help you prepare for your first visit to either a primary care provider or a specialist in the Valley Organized Physicians’ network.
What to Bring:
New patient forms: Please bring any new patient forms that you have filled out.
Your insurance information: Bring your insurance card or any additional insurance information.
Photo ID: A driver’s license, passport, military/school ID card, or something similar with your correct address on it are examples of an acceptable photo ID.
Medications: Bring a full list of the medications you currently take as well as the dosage for each.
Recent lab and/or imaging results: The results from lab or imaging (e.g. MRI, CT scan, X-ray) tests run in the last 6 months can help your doctor understand whether your condition is ongoing or new.
A list of other physicians you are currently seeing: This helps your new doctor know who s/he needs to stay in touch with, if necessary.
Your preferred pharmacy: Having the name and address of the pharmacy you prefer to use can help get new prescriptions get filled faster.
List of questions: To prevent forgetting questions you’d like to ask the doctor, write them down and bring them with you.
Paper and pen: Taking notes during your visit is a great way to gather any important information you would like to remember once you’re back at home.
A friend or family member: A friend or loved one can be an asset to have at your appointments. Not only can they provide support if you need it, but they can also help by being the “second set of ears” when taking in new information related to your health.
What to Expect:
Lab work: Having blood work or scans done before arriving at the office can often result in a speedier diagnosis. When you schedule your appointment ask if you can do any of this beforehand. If it’s possible to do this first, the office staff will let you know where to go.
Medical history: Prior to meeting with a physician, it is typical for a medical assistant to obtain information about you and your personal medical history as well as your family medical history. This allows the physician to have a better understanding about your situation before your appointment.
Meet your physician: The physician you are scheduled to see will meet with you for a new patient evaluation. This is a good time to explain your symptoms, ask questions, and express any concerns.
Physical exam: You will receive a thorough physical exam which often includes preventive screenings that can be done in the office. If you are at an age where other screenings are recommended, such as a colonoscopy, you can get that scheduled as part of your preventive medical care.
Goals: You and your physician will discuss where you would like to see your health and then set attainable goals for your well-being.
Develop a plan: Your physician will work with you on developing a plan that will help you meet your desired health goals.